Perpetual Traveller Overseas

British demand for Irish Passports surge as Post Brexit looms

The volume of European Union burgundy-colored passports issued by the Republic of Ireland reached record proportions in 2017.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin indicated that it received some 785,026 passport applications in 2017 and duly processed the majority of applications by issuing 779,184.

The rationale for this upsurge is believed to be some kind of Post-Brexit interest for Irish passports, as 1 person in 5 of the notable 779,000 Irish passports issued this year by the Republic will end up in the hands of people living in Britain.

It would therefore be fair to assume that many of these British applications desire the right to maintain EU status, and as such, live in one of the remaining 27 EU member countries. In some cases there may be a wish to have one foot in each side of Euro-zone to see how things pan out.

Here are the associated facts:
  • The Republic of Ireland issued 779,000 passports in 2017.
  • 81,752 passports were issued to people from Northern Ireland in 2017, up 20% year on year. 
  • 81,287 passports were issued to people from Britain issued in 2017, up 28% year on year.
  • Prior to Brexit, the Republic of Ireland issued on average 50,000 Irish passports to British subjects each year.
People born in Northern Ireland have an automatic right to Irish citizenship, while British people with an Irish parent, or in certain circumstances an Irish grandparent, also have an automatic right to become Irish citizens.

More Information: Applying for your first Irish Passport

The wonder of German Christmas Markets

The Christmas Fairs and Christmas Markets in Germany are unrivaled and unique.

At the German Christmas Markets you find all your Christmas gifts, decorations and treats and enjoy a glass of mulled wine, as well as try on the popular baked apples.

As it is hard to make a choice, which Christmas market to select, Perpetual Traveller recommends the Nuremberg market. The scent of mulled wine, sweet roasted almonds, Nuremberg sausages and gingerbread will remain unforgettable. The Christkindlesmarkt lies right at the heart of the city which is steeped in more than 400 years of tradition, providing an international showcase for all Franconian and German Christmas Markets.

Where: Germany (various cities and towns)

When:  1st December - 24th December 2017

For more information:

The paradox of temperatures when travelling

Our crazy world is often upside down and turned-around. Why is it that when one packs for travel to Miami, Manila or Marrakesh in the summer, it's necessary to bring a jumper, long trousers and warm clothes? 

Of course this is because the air-conditioning temperature is so cold indoors, as the thermostat is often set as low as 16 degrees Celsius. I know a sanitation expert in Miami that claims it's best to set the thermostat at such low temperatures, because it kills certain viruses etc. Recently in Manila I was conducting a training course for new Instructors and had to take the class out of the classroom every hour or so to thaw out, due to extremely cold temperatures. Some of my participants even wore wooly hats and Jackets!

At the other end of the scale, when packing for Munich, Manchester or Montreaux at the height of winter, it's necessary to bring shorts, light T. Shirts and Flip Flops as the heat inside most facilities is best described as tropical! Here the thermostat is too often set at 28 degrees Celsius, which is utter madness!

The challenge here is more serious, as temperature extremes (indoors and outdoors) cause all manner of illnesses such as sore throats, influenza, colds, chills, even pneumonia and the list goes on. What's even worse is that the electricity or fuel required to over-cool or over-heat is excessive and besides the unnecessary cost, our poor environment on planet earth continues to suffer, whatever your opinions are about global warming or climate change.

Airports and Airlines seem to suffer from this same industrial disease and sometimes it seems like the management is hell bent on over-heating or over-cooling the indoor environment. This is a really annoying factor for travellers, as we naturally dress according to the season, yet within the airport or plane it's all too often necessary to strip off or load up.

To illustrate the point, I recently flew from Larnaca airport in Cyprus to Athens. The airport was to too warm, so I took my coat off and walked around with a light shirt. Upon arrival to my Aegean plane the heat was over-bearing (otherwise an excellent flight), so I had to put the air vent on and keep popping to the toilet to swill my face with cold water. How absurd is that! I would love to see the calculation of the fuel consumption (for which the passenger ultimately pays) on that Aegean plane.

Normal ideal room temperature should be set at 22-24 degrees Celsius. As an international educator I know all too well that within this temperature range I can expect the best performance and memory recall, which works for virtually all cultures.

Travel rant aside, let this be a pleasant request for all Airports, Airlines and facilities overseas to better regulate temperatures that will improve our travel experience from minimizing illness to taking a more environmentally friendly approach. Not forgetting of course to improve comfort level for us Perpetual Travellers across the planet!

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is expected to be the most compact ever

Aerial view of the World Cup Stadium

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be contained within a mere 235 square meters, which is equal to less than half the size of Greater London, covering over 670 square meters, making it the most compact World Cup in the history of the game, according to the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC).

For perspective, the total Tournament Footprint is a little over twice the size of Birmingham and four times the size of Manchester and Liverpool. SC fevealed fascinating stats on the topic using a new bespoke satellite mapping tool that calculates the distances and travel times between the 8 (currently under construction) stadiums set for completion by 2020.

At the time of writing, it's only around 5 years until the kick-off anniversary of the Qatar FIFA World Cup, whereby the first game set to be played at Lusail Stadium in Qatar on November 21, 2022. History will be in the making as it's the first time a Middle Eastern country has hosted the event and moreover the Premiership and all other European leagues will be forced to adjust their match schedules to allow for the World Cup to take place during the winter of the Northern Hemisphere.

Going back to distances, the longest distance between World Cup stadiums in Qatar will be just 55 kilometers (35 miles), which is equivalent to traveling from Manchester United's Old Trafford to Liverpool's Anfield. As well as the distance between the Al Bayt and AlKhor stadiums, organizers said the shortest distance will be just 4.5 km (3 miles) from the Khalifa International to Qatar Foundation stadium. That is approximately the same as that between Arsenal's Emirates home ground and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane.

By contrast and to give historical perspective, the longest distance in Brazil between venues was more than 3,140 km, and the shortest almost 340 km, according to official figures. As well as being held in a relatively small country with short distances between venues, there could be as many as 4 games played each day at the beginning of the tournament. This is because the event will take place over 28 days, some 4 fewer days than normal.

For expert convenience, every single stadium used during the tournament will be connected by Qatar’s new state-of-the-art Metro (to be launched in 2019), as well as a range of supporting public transport options such as buses and water taxis.

For the teams competing, it will also be a huge advantage, as due to the short distances involved, it's only necessary be based at one location for the entire tournament and players will also be in one consistent climate throughout and experience with the absolute minimum of travel between matches.

The 2022 World Cup will kick off on November 21 at the still-to-be-built Lusail Stadium, which will also host the final. Sespite much advance international criticism of awarding Qatari with the responsibility of becoming the host nation, there are many advantages to the set up in 2022 and as players will be performing mid-European season, they are likely to be sharper than at the end of a grueling season, which could transpire to a most entertaining set of games.

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